A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. Without blood and the oxygen it carries, part of the brain starts to die. Then the part of the body controlled by that area of the brain can't work properly.

Brain damage can start within minutes of a stroke. But quick treatment can help limit brain damage and increase the chance of a full recovery.

Current as of: September 9, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology